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Don't Burn Bridges

Dear Dan:

I am a college-age gay male. Last year, I dated two guys. The first — let's call him Mitt — I dated for five months. He broke up with me, and it hurt as much as breakups do, but I got over it. A few months later, I dated another guy — let's call him Paul — for a month. I really liked him, but he broke up with me too. Then I found out that two days after breaking up with me, Paul started going out with Mitt. They knew I had dated each of them. It was the end of the school year, and I quickly left for vacation. The school year starts back up soon, and I am still pissed and hurt that they are dating. Do I have a right to be? Should I just get over myself? Should I just do my best to avoid them?

Exes Became a Couple

Avoid them for now, EBAC, and get over yourself.

Gays and lesbians are about two to five percent of the population. I'm afraid that arithmetic precludes us from hewing to the "bro code" — at least where dating friends-of-exes, exes-of-friends, or exes-of-exes are concerned. The pickings for us are just too slim. But you have a right to your feelings, EBAC, and you should go ahead and feel the shit out of your pissed-and-hurt feelings. So avoid your exes for now, but resist the urge to go to war with your exes. Don't trash them on Facebook, don't force your friends to choose sides. Smile and nod when you see them on campus, chat politely if you're thrown together at parties, and just generally accept their relationship with as much good grace as you can muster.

Remember: The odds that these guys will be together forever are pretty slim. I'm not suggesting that their more-probable-than-not breakup should delight you, EBAC, only that you might not want to burn bridges because — college being college, gay men being gay men — you could wind up dating one or the other or both of these guys again. Or, more likely, you might want to be friends with one or the other or both of them once your hurt has burned off.

And finally, EBAC, ask yourself what you want these guys saying to mutual friends — some of whom might be gay, some of whom might be into you — if they're asked about you. Do you want them to say you revealed yourself to be an angry and vindictive psycho when they got together? Or do you want them to say that, although you were obviously hurt when they got together, you were gracious about it, and that while you weren't the right guy for either of them, you're a good guy and the right guy for somebody?

Dear Dan:

I'm a 26-year-old queer woman. I'm about to visit a friend who used to be my boyfriend and who has been my lover when we've visited each other since. Sex with him is fun for me, but it's been life-changing for him. I'm the first person he has ever shared his kinks with: age regression/diapers/submission. He's been ashamed of his kinks for most of his life, and I've been completely accepting and have helped him to get over his sense of shame. Playing this role in my friend's life is fun, sexy, and meaningful for me. My own tastes, though, are more vanilla. Some of the things that would be most satisfying to me — cunnilingus, him being a little dominant sometimes, and, honestly, French kissing — have been absent from our sex. He says that he wants to do for me whatever I want, and I've told him what I want as clearly as I just told you. But he seems to have some kind of a block about actually doing those things. He's aware of the inequality in what we've done for each other and acknowledges that it's unfair that he's "gotten away with it." Help! She Misses Tongue

Your friend — your selfish, thoughtless friend — is taking advantage of you, SMT, and as he knows you well enough to sense that meeting his needs is "fun, sexy, and meaningful" for you, he figures he can keep getting away with it.

Right now, your relationship isn't characterized by a healthy give-and-take of pleasure. You're servicing your ex — or, to put it more charitably, you're doing your ex a favor. The question for you, SMT, is how long you intend to go on doing him this particular favor. If the pleasure you're taking in helping him realize his fantasies is enough, then perhaps you should keep doing him favors. But would you be writing to me about this situation if it were enough?

Leto vetoed my secret girl crush on Claire Danes. Maybe that was society weighing down on me. Perhaps it was peer pressure keeping me inside the lines of heterosexuality. Or, likely, I just liked them both."

Based on your letter, ANON, Tegan suspects that you might like both. "Sexuality is not hard lines," says Tegan. "Some people know their whole lives who they are. Some people don't. My advice: Go and kiss a girl, go and hold a boy's hand. Don't worry about who you are until you find out what you like. Maybe you'll like both — and yay if that's the way it turns out, because that means you have twice as many people to fall in love with."

And while Tegan doesn't think a person's sexuality can change overnight, she believes — she knows from personal experience — that a person's awareness of their sexuality can change overnight. "You can have an awakening," says Tegan. "Like I did when I first kissed a girl. A whole new world can absolutely be waiting for you if you end up feeling up to exploring it. Good luck!"

I've been with my boyfriend since I was 15. I'm 20 now. In all the time we've been together, I've never had an orgasm. For a long time, I wanted to get a vibrator, but my boyfriend hated that idea and never wanted me to get one because he says he already feels like crap that he can't get me off. Recently, I thought, "What the hell — I want to see what happens!" So I bought one on my own. The very first time I used it, I got off in two minutes. Now I feel stupid for not buying one sooner. My question is...How do I tell him? Should I tell him? He always wanted to be the first person to give me an orgasm, and as far as he knows, I still haven't had one.

Couldn't Wait Forever

Tell your boyfriend you bought a vibrator, CWF. If the boyfriend has a sad about your purchase — and your ability to climax (congrats!) — tell him that some women require the kind of intense, focused stimulation that only a vibrator can provide in order to get off, and, as it turns out, you're one of those women. And he can still be the first person to give you an orgasm: He can give you one with a vibrator in his hand. And if he acts like an insecure bitch about it, CWF, if he blows up or melts down, well...New vibrator, newly orgasmic—maybe it's time for a new boyfriend, too?

CONFIDENTIAL TO EVERYONE: Make porn! Details on HUMP!—the annual porn festival that I host in Seattle and Portland—are here: www.humpseattle.com. Films are limited to five minutes in length, they don't wind up on the internet, and you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest to submit to HUMP!. And this year's grand prize is $5,000!

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

mail@savagelove.net

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Dear Dan:

I'm a gay man and a hunter with a gay boy who's a vegan. But he likes how I look in my camo, holding a rifle, so it works. Last fall, I went to Idaho and shot a black bear and a 13-point buck. A taxidermist mounted the buck's head, which hangs above my bed, and made the bear into a rug. Most people don't know this, but the head on a bearskin rug is entirely fake except for the fur. The skull, teeth, and tongue are plastic, and the eyes are glass. That bear's hardly a bear, if you catch me.

So we got the rug, and he liked it. Even wanted me to screw him spread-eagle on that rug — until he walked in while I was doing it with the bear. I rigged up the mouth with one of those Fleshlight things, pretty much as a joke, but my boy freaked out when he saw the bear giving me a blowjob of sorts. Called me sick and disgusting, and ever since then, he won't let me tie him up or beat him or anything. He says he's afraid I will kill him and then screw him. I keep telling him it was all just a game, but he won't believe it. What can I do?

Bear Grinned Anyway

What can you do? You mean besides send video of you and your bear in action to prove this isn't the most entertaining fake letter I've received since Michelle Obama invited me to dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker's apartment?

You can do this: You can draw a distinction between what was going on in that bear's mouth when your boyfriend walked in and what was going on in your head. When a man beats off, two things are kinda sorta happening simultaneously: what the man is doing with his dick and what the man is imagining he's doing with his dick. Guys who beat off using a clenched fist, for example, generally aren't clenched-fist fetishists; they're just horny and their fists are there and, say, Sarah Jessica Parker isn't. Fists provide necessary friction; imaginations provide sexy scenarios.

So your boyfriend walked in and saw you fucking the face of a dead bear. That's gonna look bad, BGA, even to a boyfriend who isn't vegan. So how do you fix it? By patiently explaining to your vegan boyfriend that while, yes, you were face-fucking a bear when he walked in on you, you weren't thinking about face-fucking a bear. Tell him you were thinking about him, and the bear's mouth was just a convenient place to wedge your vegan-boyfriend-substitute — i.e., your Fleshlight. Tell your boyfriend you don't entertain any murderous fantasies, tell him you only long to fuck living things, and tell him that Homo sapiens are the only animals you find attractive. Tell him all of that, even if not all of that is entirely true.

Dear Dan:

I'm a 17-year-old male, and I'm currently in a relationship with a girl who was sexually active before we got together. Me being a virgin, I think you can understand why I might be nervous when things get heated. I would like to engage in the act with her eventually, but I don't know if she wants a virgin fumbling around in bed with her. And it's not particularly manly to go to someone and basically say, "I'm not going to be good at this for a while." I feel she's ahead of me in experience. What's the best advice you could give me on the subject?

Nerves Entirely Wrecking Boy

If your girlfriend is close to you in age, NEWB, the odds that she's any good at sex are vanishingly slim, her prior sexual activity notwithstanding. Some people have a knack for sex, of course, but almost all teenagers are lousy at sex.

Now here's my advice: Chill the fuck out. Presumably, your girlfriend likes you and knows you're a virgin. Which means she knows you'll be a little nervous the first time you two have sex and that there's probably going to be some fumbling. But you wanna know a secret? Even sexually experienced adults — even adults who are really good at sex and have had tons of it — still get nervous, and there's no such thing as sex without some fumbling.

As for your concerns about seeming less than manly: You're bringin' the dick, NEWB, so you're the man. Your nerves won't render you dickless. If you're worried about displaying a manly confidence, well, you can still do that: Go into your first sexual experience confident that your girlfriend is into you and confident that she wants you, and be honestly and unapologetically who you are. Being yourself is far more manly than pretending to be someone or something you're not.

One last thing to do before you lose your virginity: Watch a weekend marathon of 16 and Pregnant on MTV. That show will inspire you to use condoms religiously and correctly, every single time, no matter what.

Dear Dan:

Following up on the letter about masturbating in the privacy of a public toilet stall: Guys are being banned from Multnomah County libraries in Portland, Oregon, for wanking in the supposed privacy of locked bathroom stalls. Facilities security officers peep through spaces between stall doors and write up reports that go into detail about "shiny liquids" spotted on offenders' hands, and those who are caught are excluded from the libraries for a year. I thought "sexual activity" required a partner and masturbation wasn't a crime if practiced in private — but tell that to the peeping uniformed officers working in the Central Library, aka "Portland's Crown Jewel." You can't go to a locked bathroom stall and rub one out, on pain of landing on the Excluded Patrons List as a masturbator. Victorian prudery lives.

Wanking In Private Environs

The letter writer who got caught wanking in a public toilet had taken pains to find an empty men's restroom on a deserted floor of an office building. He wanted to have his midday wank without disturbing or unnerving others. I don't think the same could be said for the men who are rubbing 'em out in the toilets of Portland's Central Library.

Look, I'm familiar with Portland's Central Library, WIPE; I wrote huge chunks of two of my books there. The toilets are crowded, and there's no way you can beat off in one without disturbing others. I don't have a problem with people rubbing 'em out — hello — but guys who get off in public toilets because they get off on public toilets are forcing other people to serve as props in their masturbatory fantasies. And that ain't cool.

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